Mar 5 2008

My Biggest Fear

Photo of a Ugandan child taken by Keely Scott during Uganda blog trip - February 2008All of us have had a few highlights in our lives that changed us forever. Right now, I’m in the middle of one. I’m in Uganda gathering stories for Compassion. It’s my first trip to a developing country.

There’s only one problem. The thing that I was afraid would happen has happened. I have fallen head over heals in love with every child I’ve met. At each village we visit, children run up to you, wrap their arms around you, and before you know it, steal your heart.

Because poverty is so overwhelming, always before, I tried to distance myself from the stories. Without meaning to, I guarded my heart. But now these stories have faces and I’m completely attached.

But the surprising thing is, I don’t feel helpless. And that had been my biggest fear—finally coming face to face with poverty and feeling powerless to do anything. But I keep hearing from caregivers and children how much their lives have changed through Compassion’s programs. I can’t help but feel hopeful.

One mother today told me today how thankful she is that Compassion pays for her son’s malaria medicine. This has saved his life. Another told me there is no way her daughter could go to school without Compassion helping with school fees. Dickson, a student enrolled in the Leadership Development Program, said, “I hope Compassion sponsors and donors know their support is not in vain. You are helping to transform lives.”

So if you’re a sponsor or donor out there, I want to pass on these messages of hope. I pray they encourage your heart as much as they did mine.


Robyn Spencer, a full-time writer for Compassion International, is currently on her first Compassion trip to Uganda. Robyn is experiencing Compassion’s life-changing work first-hand, so she can educate sponsors and donors when she returns home.

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  • Robyn writes marketing pieces to encourage more people to help release children from poverty in Jesus’ name.

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  1. Sarah
    Mar 5, 2008
    at 5:23 pm

    I know someday when I am able to visit other countries, I will totally fall in love with all the children too.

  2. Mar 5, 2008
    at 6:38 pm

    This is so encouraging. I can relate to it, too, from when I visited Peru.

    What a wonderful job you have, Sarah. :)

  3. Mar 6, 2008
    at 1:21 pm

    This is beautiful, Robyn. I think you’re sharing the heart of God. He doesn’t want us to despair in the face of poverty, but to see His hope.

  4. Mar 6, 2008
    at 3:44 pm

    Thank you SO much for this encouraging post – paralysis in the face of overwhelming need is useless isn’t it? We have to learn a sort of triage of the heart – what needs to be done now so this situation is better sooner rather than later.

  5. Jewel
    Apr 27, 2008
    at 8:50 am

    Our son and his wife were on a mission’s trip in Uganda and they fell in love with a little boy who is now our grandson!!

  6. Mike Stephens
    Apr 2, 2009
    at 9:24 am

    Thank you for the encouragement Robyn!!! As great as your encouragement is I simply cannot rely on a second-hand story!!! It would be like someone telling me they ate the world’s greatest mango and I am suppose to not be hungry from their story!!! The story only makes me hungrier!!! Which is why I decided to go to the Philippines in June 2009 to visit the boys I sponsor there. I hope to take many pictures and videos if I am able to get ahold of a video camera so many can see the GREAT work Compassion is doing and so I can remember to encourage myself and also pray for them!!!

  7. Mike Stephens
    Apr 21, 2009
    at 1:05 pm

    I am thankful the bible tells us not to fear!!! Some of my fears have become a reality like losing a job, performing badly in a race and it really isn’t that bad. So the fear was really a waste!!!

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